HC Deb 24 May 1976 vol 912 cc6-7W
Mrs. Wise

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many additional teachers would need to be employed to reduce the size of classes in primary and secondary schools to a maximum of 30 pupils.

Miss Margaret Jackson

There is no exact relationship between a given number of teachers and the elimination of classes over a certain size; much depends on the distribution of pupils among schools and the way the schools are organised and choose to deploy their teachers. With these important reservations, a calculation, based on the staffing ratios assumed by the former National Advisory Council on the Training and Supply of Teachers to be sufficient to permit the elimination of classes of over 30, indicates that an additional 58,000 teachers would currently be needed for this purpose. The estimated cost of employing this number of additional teachers would be over £200 million per year. The average size of class is already just below 30 in the primary schools—29.6 in January 1975—and substantially below in secondary schools—22.7—and fewer additional teachers would be needed to eliminate classes over 30 in future years as the school population declines.